CON 42%(-6) | LAB 32%(+4) | LIB DEM 14%(-3)
Ipsos's March Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 13-15 March among 1,007 British adults aged 18 and over) shows that among those absolutely certain to vote, the Conservative Party lead the Labour Party by ten points. The Tories are now on 42% and Labour is on 32%. In addition, optimism about the economy over the next 12 months, while still on balance negative, is at its highest level in 18 months.
Satisfaction with the Government and with all three party leaders has increased since last month. Satisfaction with the way David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party has returned to the level it was in August 2008, which was the highest rating for Cameron Ipsos has ever recorded.
Other key findings from this month's Monitor include:
- Prime Minister Gordon Brown's personal ratings have increased since last month: one in three (34%) are satisfied with the way he is doing his job as Prime Minister, and three in five (59%) are dissatisfied, giving a net score (the percentage satisfied minus the percentage dissatisfied) of -25. This represents an improvement for Brown, as last month a quarter (26%) were satisfied, and two thirds (64%) dissatisfied with his performance.
- Overall satisfaction with the Government has also increased slightly since last month. Just over a quarter (26%) are satisfied with how the Government is running the country, and two thirds are dissatisfied (67%). This compares to 21% satisfied and 70% dissatisfied in February.
- Public opinion on how David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party has shown a marked increase since February 2009: 52% are satisfied (up nine points from last month) and 30% dissatisfied (down four points), yielding a net figure of +22. This is a thirteen point `net' increase (from last month's net figure of +9) and matches the highest satisfaction rating we have ever recorded for David Cameron (in August 2008).
- Just under two in five (38%, up from 35% last month) are satisfied with the way Nick Clegg is doing his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, while a quarter remain dissatisfied (26%, no change from last month). Over a third (36%, down three points from 39% last month) say they don't know.
- Those who think the economy will get worse over the next 12 months still outnumber those who think it will improve; however, economic optimism is now at its highest level since August 2007. The proportion of those who feel the economic condition of the country will improve in the next twelve months is 23%, while over half (52%) feel it will get worse. The Economic Optimism Index (those who think it will get better minus those who think it will get worse) is therefore -29, an 11 point improvement on last month and the most positive score we have measured since August 2007.